This just screams of people that listened to their attorneys and those that didn’t do their own homework. Currently, the allegations are that the parent committed libel on her blog citing sixteen different counts, where half of them are done by anonymous commenters.
Not including the obvious that governments can’t sue for libel which already has precedence set, there was one very obvious case in Dimeo vs Max (2006). In this case, there was a portion where anonymous commenters wrote some nasty things about Dimeo’s PR firm. But here lies the crux of it:
Dalzell concluded that the immunity applied to bar DiMeo’s libel claims because “Max did not create the anonymous posts. The posters authored them entirely on their own.”
Under the Communications Decency Act, Section 230 protects Internet providers (including bloggers) from libel. There is no action taken that wouldn’t stifle free speech. What’s also interesting is this part of it where Judge Dalzell cited ACLU vs. Reno (1996):
“Some of the dialogue on the Internet surely tests the limits of conventional discourse. Speech on the Internet can be unfiltered, unpolished, and unconventional, even emotionally charged, sexually explicit, and vulgar — in a word, ‘indecent’ in many communities. But we should expect such speech to occur in a medium in which citizens from all walks of life have a voice,” Dalzell wrote.
All of this doesn’t say that the parent did not commit libel, but from a case scenario, there is strong legal backing in an arena where other bloggers have fought and won. Setting precedence is key in the world of law, and the Texas school district (which is funding the suit with district funds) will have a tremendous PR issue chasing after this based purely on the fact that other parents might find it discouraging that district funding is being used in a lawsuit instead of promotion of education.